Prior to his election as pope, John Paul II wrote a book, Love and Responsibility. Since they lived in complete accord with their dignity as persons, "the man and his wife were both naked and felt no shame" (Gen 2:25). In Christ's own words, "It is consummated" (Jn 19:30). Theology of the Body: Teaching Catholic Sexuality to Teens This workshop gives an overview of St. John Paul II’s magnificent “Theology of the Body” as a foundational Christian anthropology, while also showing its implications for sexuality, morality, and youth ministry. But to comprehend it, we, as historical man (man tainted by sin), must follow the deep "echoes" of our hearts into our "pre-history." How? Many simply find his scholarly approach too difficult. These truths are confirmed and more deeply realized in the subjective experiences of Adam and Eve in the second creation account (here we begin to see how John Paul masterfully marries an objective and subjective world view for a "total vision of man," as discussed in Part I of this series). Recent years have seen a significant shift in how the people of God — both priests and lay faithful — have come to view the sacrament of holy orders, as well as the baptismal character of the common priesthood of all Christians. As John Paul shows us, the question of sexuality and marriage is not a peripheral issue. © 1996-2019 Catholic Education Resource Center | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap, Theology The link in this movement from man to God and God to man is, of course, the God-man. It con­sti­tutes an analy­sis on human sexuality, and is con­sid­ered as the first major teach­ing of his pon­tif­i­cate. And some claim this Pope is down on sex.? Why am I here? Revolution, Good John Paul points out in a footnote that the word "rib" in the original biblical language is a play on the word "life" (General Audience 11/7/79). All we need do is receive it. Contact your seminary rectors to introduce theology of the body to the seminary curriculum. "For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Co 12:10). Canonical Services. Through his theology of the body, Pope John Paul II seeks to explain what the body means as a sign of the person and the person’s call to be a gift, and how it reveals the nature of God and His plan for mankind. He was gifted with remarkable insight. As John Paul says, because of concupiscence (man's disordered passions), "The human body in its masculinity and femininity has almost lost the capacity of expressing this love in which the person becomes a gift…" (General Audience 7/23/80). In a clarion call for husbands to uphold the dignity of their wives, John Paul stated that a man can commit adultery "in his heart" even with his own wife if he treats her only as an object to satisfy concupiscence (cf. Thus, if historical man is to live according to the nuptial meaning of his body and thus "fulfill the very meaning of his being and existence," he must win the battle in his heart over lust. The presupposition of this wrong doctrine is that there is no original sin and, therefore, there is nothing wrong in displaying one's body. This is a difficult calling. 7. Thus, "The difference of the male sex and the female sex was suddenly felt and understood as an element of mutual confrontation [rather than communion]" (General Audience 6/4/80). Having named all the animals, man realized he was alone in the world as a person. As the Pope explains, "there is no doubt that man falls into that 'sleep' with the desire of finding a being like himself. Conclusion to the Series: Redemption of the Body and Sacramentality of Marriage - 11.28.1984 ... Vatican ambassador Callista Gingrich has farewell meeting with Pope Francis . says that, by means of the The­ol­ogy of the Body, "John Paul II gave the Church the be­gin­ning of a mys­ti­cal phi­los­o­phy of life. John Paul's entire catechesis on the body could simply be considered a commentary on this passage from Vatican II. As this series on John Paul's theology of the body continues, we will come to see that God created the "one flesh" union of man and woman to be the fundamental revelation in the created world of his own divine mystery – the mystery of his Life and Love, and his plan for us to share in this Life and Love through Christ. This is why "it is not good for the man to be alone" (Gen 2:18) – he has no one to love. The Theology of the Body – What, Why and How? Well, here it is!). It does require, however, a particular effort from those who present his teaching, and from those who wish to understand it, if the Pope's words are to become bread broken for all. He helps us make sense of the movements of our innermost being. He will taste the freedom that he lost and long for its restoration. Their power lies in the fact that the man who utters them is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29). Let's ponder that for a moment. Let's pause just for a moment to drink in what the Pope is saying here. The "heart" has become a battlefield between love and lust, habitually threatening the nuptial meaning of the body. As Saint John Paul II’s masterwork, the Theology of the Body (TOB) provides beautiful and compelling answers to the deepest questions we all ask ourselves: Who am I? The theology of the body consists of a searching analysis of biblical texts that reveal the mystery of the body, sexuality, and marriage at three critical "levels" of human experience: as man experienced them "in the beginning" before sin (Original Man); as man experiences them in human history affected by sin, yet redeemed in Christ (Historical Man); and as man will experience them in the resurrection of the … The answer is its sexuality, its unifying complementarity as male and female. The theology of the body consists of a searching analysis of biblical texts that reveal the mystery of the body, sexuality, and marriage at three critical "levels" of human experience: as man experienced them "in the beginning" before sin (Original Man); as man experiences them in human history affected by sin, yet redeemed in Christ (Historical Man); and as man will experience them in the resurrection of the body (Eschatological Man). In his biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope, George Weigel described the theology of the body as a “theological time bomb” and “one of the boldest reconfigurations of Catholic theology in centuries.” According to John Paul, by reflecting on these three levels of "experiencing" the body, sexuality, and marriage, we discover the very structure and deepest reality of human identity – we find our place in the cosmos and even penetrate the mystery of the Trinitarian God. It may seem peculiar, at first, that the Pope speaks of the body as something "heavenly," that he speaks of it as a theology. In other words, she, too, is a person. of the Body Explained: A Commentary on John Paul II's "Gospel of the Body". That is to say, "Finally, a person with whom I can share the gift of life. Pope John Paul II's Vision on Human Love . The mystical marriage of the New Adam and Eve. of the Body for Beginners: A Basic Introduction to Pope John Paul II's Sexual For him, since God is a life-giving Communion of Persons, "man became the 'image and likeness of God' not only through his own humanity, but also through the communion of persons which man and woman form right from the beginning" (General Audience 11/14/79). Covering their sexual organs demonstrated an inherent need to protect the body from the degradation of lust. Upcoming Trainings. News about Sex and Marriage: Answers to Your Honest Questions about Catholic Teaching, Theology Let us remember that as body-persons we are made in the image of the invisible God. "I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid" (Gen 3:10). The tragedy of sin is that, rather than thanking God for such a great gift, man let his trust in this gift die, and sought to grasp God for himself. The Holy Father presents a vision of marriage and sexuality never before articulated, but few people have been exposed in any depth to his revolutionary insights. God's work in Creation and Redemption is only a foreshadowing of the consummation of all things at the end of time. The result is a new synthesis of the Gospel to which the modern mind can relate. John Paul poses the question: "Are we to fear the severity of [Christ's] words, or rather have confidence in their salvific content, in their power?" It is precisely in and through our bodies, in and through our sexuality, that we realize we are called to make this sincere gift of self. As Fathers Hogan and LeVoir point out in their book, Covenant of Love, the link between these two world views is the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God. Starting with this approach, we can distinguish several, often contradictory ways of understanding the Christian meaning of poverty and the type of commitment to justice which it requires. General Audience 3/18/81). Nakedness revealed: "We can give ourselves (our bodies) to each other and live in a life-giving communion of persons" (i.e. How did it become so twisted? He will feel in the depths of his heart the tragedy of sin and cry out in repentance, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ will save him. He continues his catechesis by analyzing scriptural passages that reveal the meaning of Christian celibacy and Christian marriage in light of this "total vision of man." Gaudium et Spes 24). Christopher West is a research fellow and faculty member of the Theology of the Body Institute. "This is the way I experience life.". The pure man is able to take the "negative" image and allow the Holy Spirit to develop it into the corresponding "positive." Shame enters only upon their denial of Love as the source of creation. "The com­plete ad­dresses w… The Second Vatican Council presciently foresaw this crisis with its statement: “When God is forgotten…the creature itself grows unintelligible.” Forgetting God necessarily results in forgetting the meaning of the body. Regina Bannan catholic news Vatican Women's Ordination July 14, 2018 | 4 I have to admit that I have not read the “Theology of the Body” (TOB). Our Holy Father is saying that the truth of our sexuality is the most basic, essential element of our existence in the world. John Paul II - Theology of the Body . Yes, God's plan from all eternity is to draw us into the closest communion with himself – to "marry" us! The nuptial meaning of the body is "the [body's] capacity of expressing love: that love precisely in which the person becomes a gift and – by means of this gift – fulfills the very meaning of his being and existence" (General Audience 1/16/80). In coming to understand our own experience, then – subjective as it is – we come to understand something of God because we are images of God. How is this so through contemplating the body, sex, and marriage? When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce, he pointed them to man and woman's perfect unity "in the beginning." We experience that we are qualitatively different from "the animals" (the word that sums up this difference is person). Without even knowing it, perhaps, most of us have inherited a way of explaining the faith that is rooted in the objective, principled formulations of Thomas Aquinas. Calendar (Month view) Calendar (List view) Offices/Ministries. Creation is recapitulated! But this is not the end of the story. This philosophical approach to understanding man (phenomenology) allows him to penetrate the mystery of the human person with unprecedented clarity and precision. Jesus took on a body so we could become "one body" with him (which we do in the Eucharist). Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. 47 talking about this. This means loving as Christ loves is truly possible through the power of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts (Ro 5:5). This is to say that everything God wants to tell us on earth about who he is, the meaning of life, the reason he created us, how we are to live, as well as our ultimate destiny, is contained somehow in the meaning of the human body and the call of male and female to become "one body" in marriage. The pure man does not eschew his sexuality. Denis Read, O.C.D. The theology on the body is a broad term for Catholic teachings on the human body. In union with God's Love, their love would re-create the mystery of creation (pro-creation). Even the most devoted of spouses must face the reality of mixed motives and imperfect desires. In a world that encourages sex merely to gratify disordered instinct, John Paul was calling spouses back to God's original intention of self-donation as the norm for sexual relations. As a young priest, bishop, and later a cardinal, Karol Wojtyla devoted himself to pondering the mystery of conjugal love. Here, in an extraordinary development of Catholic thought, John Paul takes us beyond traditional understandings of what it means to be a human person made in the image of God. Twenty-one years later, over two-thirds of what the Church has ever officially said about marriage and sexuality has come from his pontificate. General Audiences, Jan., Feb., and Sept. 1980). %PDF-1.2 %���� 10 0 obj << /Length 11 0 R /Filter /FlateDecode >> stream Pope John Paul II explores the purpose of our existence in his Theology of the Body, which consists of 129 general Wednesday audiences delivered by him during the first five years of his pontificate. The work covers such topics as the unified corporeal and spiritual qualities of the human person; the origins, history and destiny of humanity; the deepest desires of the human heart and the way to experience true happiness and freedom; the truth about man's need and desire for loving communion derived from the revealed understanding of humanity in the image of a Triune Creator; the truth about God's original design for human sexuality and thus the dignity of the human person, how it was distorted through sin, and how … It simply rings true. Theology of the Body and the Transformation of Culture. Immediately the man declares: "At last this one is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." is the fundamental element of human existence in the world" (General Audience 1/16/80). He is the Hence they were both naked and felt no shame (Gen 2:25). In bringing the two together, John Paul avoids both abstraction and subjectivism and gives us a new language with which to express the faith – a new language for a new evangelization. Theology of the Body. These are all objective truths about the human person that can be gleaned from the first creation account in the book of Genesis. We can learn a great deal about who man is as a person by examining authentic human experience. We must go into the "dark room" if we ever hope to have the "negative" image developed into the "positive." While the works that were provided did not include a copyright notice, there is the potentiality of a copyright. Thus, John Paul can say, "we are convinced of the fact that the awareness of the [nuptial] meaning of the body . And their mystical union gives "new birth" to the beloved disciple ("Behold your mother" [Jn 19:27]). There are certainly many tributaries which feed into the main stream of this confusion, and not insignificant among them is the plan laid out by the documents of the Second Vatican Council for the laity to take on … It was inspired by Paul VI's statement in Humanae Vitae that the problem of birth regulation must be considered in light of a "total vision of man" (cf. author of Theology After several direct quotations from John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, which Francis creatively culls to debunk a host of myths about Catholic teaching, Francis concludes, “In no way, then, can we consider the erotic dimension of love simply as a permissible evil or a burden to be tolerated for the good of the family [i.e., procreation]. While the experience of original nakedness revealed to them the very meaning of "gift," now their experience of nakedness changed. Christ, the New Adam, paves the way by reliving the same experiences of the first Adam. Man's supreme calling is that he is made for nuptial union with Christ! Master of Sacred Arts: The Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization Pope Saint John Paul II was the first to call for a “New Evangelization, new in its ardor, methods and expression.” [1] He also emphasized that in order to communicate appropriately the message entrusted to her, “the Church needs art” [2] and “the theology of the body … is quite indespensable.” However, because the modern mindset is very subjective and experiential, traditional formulations of the faith are typically seen as abstractions that have little to do with a person's own experience. General Audience 10/8/80). What we experience now after sin is in some way the "negative"of the image whose "positive" had been these original experiences (cf. The marital embrace is not merely a union of bodies, but a communion of persons brought about through the body. He demonstrates the g r eat importance of the physical body and human Visit his web site here. Man and woman's common humanity is revealed through the body – "flesh of my flesh." of the Body Explained: A Commentary on John Paul II's "Gospel of the Body". He must come to see the body, once again, as the revelation of the eternal mystery of God. All of creation had been created for their sake, and they were called to have dominion over it (Gen 1:28). It's written in his very being as male and female. Man is ashamed of this loss. Little did he know that just a few months after making the above statement, he would bring his gifts to bear on the world stage as Pope John Paul II. This doesn't mean that his message is reserved for the elite. Have your diocesan director of continuing education schedule theology of the body speakers for the priests of the diocese. The human body reveals the mystery of God! We see this in the rampant moral relativism of the day. John Paul's theology of the body offers some original and profound insights in answer to this question. Catechesis and Youth. It is into this storm that John Paul II’s Theology of the Body speaks. This is the experience of original solitude. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God (Mt 5:8) – in the body! First convened by the “Theology of the Body” mastermind “Pope Saint” John Paul II in 1985, the Novus Ordo phenomenon of World Youth Day has long been dubbed the “Catholic Woodstock” on account of the rampant occasions of carnal sin it offers due to the free mixing of large groups of young men and women, most of whom are dressed in shockingly immodest ways. Outline of Conjugal Spirituality. Central to the Christian mystery, however, is the stunning belief in the embodiment of God, the Incarnation. Reprinted with permission of Christopher West. The human person, however, is created "for his own sake," (cf. This is precisely what John Paul does in his theology of the body. In trying to present the good news of the Church's teaching to others, how often have you been met with resistance such as: "That's so abstract," or, "The Church just isn't 'in touch' with real life experience?" There we discovered man's experience of his body as male and female before sin in what John Paul called original solitude, original unity, and original nakedness. If we live according to the truth of our sexuality, we discover and fulfill the very reason for our existence (Who's looking for the meaning of life? The fact that the male/female communion reveals something of the mystery of the Trinity's Communion does not mean that God is sexual. the whole biblical question of the theology of the body" (General Audience 11/28/84). This is a beautiful and profound truth, but we need to be careful not to misunderstand what is being said. It's because of Christ's words that John Paul turns our attention to the Book of Genesis. Man had already been freely given this likeness to God as a gift – a gift he need only receive – but a gift now denied in his heart (cf.General Audience 4/30/80, CCC n. 397). General Audiences September 5, 1979 to November 28, 1984. Because of lust – the desire to grasp, possess, use – they lost the "peace of the interior gaze" associated with original nakedness. General Audience 2/20/80). Through his "sincere gift" of self, Christ "fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear" (Gaudium et Spes n. 22). Each year, the Theology of the Body Institute team takes groups on fun, one-of-a-kind, life-transforming adventures to holy sites around the world. This is a positive function of shame. 8. Christopher West is married to Wendy and has three children. God's intention for original man is the norm for marriage. Plan a theology of the body conference in your area. [Conclusion] *This overview is based on Pope John Paul II’s original outline. In light of the cross, how can we continue to deny God's gift – "this is my body given up for you"? Vatican II Symposia. In this state of original innocence, their nakedness revealed that they were called to share in this Love by being "gift" to one another. In this freedom they saw and knew each other "with all the peace of the interior gaze, which creates… the fullness of the intimacy of persons" (General Audience 1/2/80). "Haven't you read that in the beginning God created them as male and female and said 'the two will become one flesh.' By giving us a command beyond our own ability to live, Christ sets the stage for our redemption. Instead, he humbled himself, taking on flesh, and in thanksgiving (eucharistia) for the gift of the Father, became obedient unto death – even death on a cross (Phi 2:6-8). This is so because, as the Second Vatican Council taught, "man can only find himself by making a sincere gift of himself" (Gaudium et Spes n. 24). Once you've comprehended what he is saying, you will never see the world the same way again. It was through their experience of original nakedness that they knew they were called to love each other (cf. We have to wait for a good Pope to have this shameless doctrine banished from Catholic teaching. But the glory of the Gospel is that "he who was God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped." Right from the beginning, the theology of the body is bound up with the creation of man in the image of God. Further, we all experience a longing to live in communion with other persons, to love and be loved. Pointing always to the Scriptures, the Holy Father reminds us that the Christian mystery itself is a mystery about marriage – the marriage between Christ and the Church. Experiencing this redemption is the call of every man and woman, married or unmarried. Papal Blessings. (Gen 2:23). This is a profound mystery, and it refers to Christ and the Church" (Eph 5:31, 32). Whoever allows these words to act in his heart will hear an "echo" of God's original plan for sexuality. The human body has a specific meaning, making visible an invisible reality, and is capable of revealing answers regarding fundamental questions about us and our lives: Is there a real purpose to life and if so, what is it? Twisted as it has become, man's perennial fascination with sex speaks of how fundamentally important it is. Below is a link to a criticism by Dr. David L. Schindler, Provost at the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington DC. The Theology of the Body of Pope John Paul II is a series of addresses given at the Wednesday papal audiences in Rome from September 1979 to November 1984. ���ӣ�k|�e�jW���ߏtW u�W�Z ���X��҃�>�����$��"�� ?s?��S5�gQ�y!9����ݬ�*\ȧ��Q�`)&N���O����DY��ڤM�8�i�l�!��\T��ވ���E����k����\��|��#�}�US��zTģ^K�:U�WM`����#��׉�T�u;HM��Q���y�g�u��[���%_q���t��qj�y� �ǻfv� o�E�Ƒ�G+'׵zz�CW�1n���{�9����� �V��'�ޟ�6�ݦ�P�gR��됟n����:j8�H�4��|�vrn���M�I�8 ��ߑ]dgu�.� ��恿������~�5�ڮS5mp��/��~�&�4�n�ѿ٧F��[email protected]��~6]�����gH��SG���L�����u�c�︯�[��ւ�b"���_d�G�%�~���-�W&�8,��f p�����'���< �������qB��)ͩ�&������'�4�$�^j�n��IS׾�͟eF|���-�E�4�B�b58u�4c��:���3Ǡ?c��w�na�g��q����ә��t}69�����w���KlI� �>�C�aTғ����/�̹uQ��$�Cս��L\ti�Zq�����z���ISHW��5����3�a�t䱳G�MR n�b�b�=�� ��_�EE)�eթ�a�� 1/jt���~��ٻ�u�D~������c���4���M8�M~�3��?�x��>���`�6~� African Mission. This positive image makes visible the invisible mystery of God (cf. The dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, defined in Pope Pius XII's 1950 apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus, is one of the most recent developments in the Catholic theology of the body. His insights offer a whole new context for understanding the teaching of Humanae Vitae and demonstrate that – far from being "way down the list" – this issue is of crucial importance. (There were some rather lengthy interruptions in this series, e.g., during the Holy Year of the Redemption in 1983, the audiences were devoted to other topics.) This was the only desire the body conjured up in their hearts – a desire to love in the image of God. Reflections on Humanae vitae (TOB 118 – 133; Jul 1984 – Nov 1984) The ethical problem. This is the Good News of the Gospel. But what particular characteristic of the body allows us to understand it this way? Despite what the secular media had to say, the Pope was in no way suggesting that the marital relationship is itself adulterous. *U��%/)[){�$���j���� Our redemption is won! In Michael Waldstein’s, Man and Woman He Created Them – A Theology of the Body (Pauline Books & Media: 2006), p. 106. Persons cannot be ruled or dominated by others. I assure you, it will to well worth the effort. They are by nature invisible. Experience confirms the Pope's observation, and history tells the tale of sin's effect on man and woman's relationship ("Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you" – Gen 3:16). How tragic! In his nakedness he endured the cross, heedless of its shame (Heb 12:2). But not only the human person. We'll seek to unpack some of them in Part III. The serpent tempts them to believe that God is withholding himself from them – "For God knows that when you eat of [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] ...you will be like God knowing good and evil " (Gen 3:5). As John Paul points out, the experience of shame now connected with nakedness has a double meaning. Contrast this with Cardinal Wojtyla's statement on the tenth anniversary of Humanae Vitae that the issue of contraception is a "struggle for the value and meaning of humanity itself" (Lateranum 44, 1978). Because historical man is tainted by sin, living according to the truth of the body must lead him to the cross. And this communion of persons in "one flesh" is an icon of the inner-life of the Trinity! Schinlder identifies a faulty doctrine of concupiscence (a topic in which I am currently very interested) within West’s theology: Christopher West’s Theology of the Body by David L. Schindler While we can't return to the state of original innocence, we can live as God intended "in the beginning" if we appropriate the redemption of our bodies (Ro 8:23). Click below to see where we’re going next! 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